(Dr Kaberi Banerjee, IVF Expert,
) New Delhi
Most infertile women who choose to attempt pregnancy by IVF require fertility drugs, also called "ovulation induction" medications, to stimulate their ovaries to produce one or more eggs. Possible side effects of the drugs include:
• Mild bruising and soreness at the injection site. Using different sites for the injections can help.
• Allergic reaction, gastrointestinal distress, headache, or mood changes. Make sure you tell your doctor and nurse if you experience any bad reaction to these medications.
• Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). This is a condition in which the ovaries produce many follicles (fluid-filled sacs each containing an egg) and become much larger than usual. OHSS is a potential complication from almost any fertility drug. Usually, it is mild and improves without treatment. However, in severe cases, OHSS can result in very enlarged ovaries, dehydration, fatigue, and the collection of large amounts of fluid in the abdomen and lungs. The risk of severe OHSS can be made very low by: (1) lowering the dosage of fertility drugs to reduce the ovarian response; (2) withholding the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) used to trigger ovulation and canceling the cycle; or (3) proceeding with the egg retrieval, but freezing all embryos for a later cycle.